Thursday, March 31, 2011

Homework - 3/31/2011

It's the last day of March!  That means tomorrow is April Fool's on guard!

Freshmen:  Over the weekend I'd like for you to write a one page response about a character that you've met so far in Romeo and Juliet.  As you write your response feel free to write about any aspect of the character that you'd like.  Talk about your feeling toward the person, if they remind you of anyone in your own family, feel free to write about anything related to the character - but make sure that you stay focused on the character.  Make sure that you also pay attention to grammar and usage and writing rules.  I will be grading these pretty thoroughly.  Get it to the box on Monday or Tuesday morning.

Juniors:  Good acting today!  I hope that you enjoyed seeing how everything turned around on John Proctor here at the end of the act.  Tomorrow we'll have a quiz on Act II and III - so be sure to study tonight the key plot points, characterization and important quotations.  We'll have the quiz tomorrow as well as begin watching Mean Girls to prepare for our final paper on The Crucible.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Homework for Everyone - 3/30


If you've yet to fill out the form, please go to the previous post and make your selections.  I'm going to be making groups in the next few days and need this input from you in order to move forward.  For tonight, you don't have any homework but you should spend some time thinking about the poem that I gave you today in class.  I'm looking forward to having a great class tomorrow to discuss the poem and then finish going through Act III.

You may find it helpful to read over Act III tonight before we begin working through it tomorrow so that you have an idea of what's coming up.  Tomorrow is when everything hits the fan in Salem.


Don't forget about your introductions to your characters.  You should have either very thorough notes or a complete paragraph that deals with the information that I'm looking for.  Make sure that you either have a book or internet source with that paragraph so that I can see where you're getting your information from for this.

I think that'll do it - enjoy the rainy afternoon!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homework for All Classes - 3/29/2011


Today in class I outlined for you several options for your final project in English III.  Fill out the following form:

In the form you'll need to mark The Scarlet Letter as The Crying of Lot 49.  Be sure that you put your name on the last question.  I'll have the groups put together for you by Friday.

Also, please read in Act III of The Crucible until the entrance of Mr. Putnam.  Pay attention to all of the new characters as you read.


Tonight for homework you need to complete the first part of your project, the description of your character.  Make sure that you tell me about everything that you can tell me at this point about your character.  You're going to add more to this as you do more research.  Be sure, as well, that as you include one source (either internet or book) that you used to complete your introduction to your character.  The document that has the project is back a few posts if you need to refresh yourself.

Bring this introduction with you to class on Thursday/Friday and I'll check them in class.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Special Note - Juniors

Be sure as you're reading tonight to look at John Proctor's final lines before the falling of the curtain.  Lots of ideas are going to collide at once.  Heavily annotate that passage!  Don't forget about your vocabulary stories!  Fifteen word benchmark - and it has to be coherent!

Oh, and we'll meet tomorrow in the computer lab.  I'll put a sign on the door to direct you there for tomorrow's class.

English Homework and Announcements - 3/24

English III:

WOW!  You all took what I thought was going to be a quick and simple conversation to a much higher level.  Everyone was participating and really sharing some great insights about the play.  For tonight, I want you to finish reading Act II.  Continue noticing how all of these big ideas are coming together to form messages about these different topics and ideas.

English I:

Today we started our last project of the year - research on Elizabethan England.  I've created a link to the project document here.  Using that link will bring up all of the requirements and description of the assignment.  For next week, you will have to complete step one of the assignment - the description of the character you're creating.  After you create the character, we're going to spend more time researching the character and getting information to create the narratives.  If you go here you'll see a collection of links at the bottom of the page that you can use for the assignment too Special Note:  The more you devote to creating this character, the stronger your project will be!

For Homework (English I)  - Over the weekend you need to finish reading Act I, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet.  In your notebooks you'll need to take notes on the WHO, WHERE, WHEN, and WHAT of the remaining parts of the scene.  Remember for the WHAT you need write a brief summary of what happens in the part of the scene.  Read thoroughly, you may need to read a few times.  We'll discuss the scene in a lot of detail on Tuesday/Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

English III Homework - 3/23


Tonight for homework I want you to start reading Act II.  Read from the opening of the act to the entrance of Reverend Hale.  Pay particular attention to the foreshadowing and the way that things are changing in the town of Salem.  Keep annotating and keeping track of major trends in the text.  We'll also do some acting tomorrow!

Enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This is my 500th post!!!

Happy Birthday Blog - You've got 500 posts to you now.  Here are some reminders to get you ready for the next class.


On Thursday/Friday after our warm-up we will jump immediately into poem presentations.  I'll collect your project from you when you present.  Make sure that you have all of the required pieces here as Thursday and Friday are the last days of the grading period.  I will only be able to take this project late if you come in on Monday and turn it in before 10:00 am.  Remember that this project will count for five separate grades.  Be sure that you get it done.  For next class, it is also important that you bring a flashdrive because we'll be starting our final project - research on Elizabethan England.


Tomorrow we'll finish watching the film for Act I of The Crucible and you will have a quiz on Act I.  For the quiz you will need to know about specific characters, so be sure that you've reviewed your character list as well as major points about each of them.  Also, you're going to be asked about the historical allegory as it relates back to McCarthyism and the Red Scare.  The first part of your test is multiple choice, and then you'll have quote identifications.  The quotes are relatively major ones that I think will stand out to you.  For the quotes, you'll need to know the speaker, the context, and the importance of the quote.  Be sure to also think about the major motifs/conflicts within this text.

Let me know if you've got any questions as you're studying and preparing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Homework for 3/21


I've said it before, I'll say it again:  POETRY PROJECTS.  I'm hopeful that you all were able to finish your projects this weekend and at this point you are only doing small tweaks and changes to make it perfect.  Remember that these are due on Thursday for A-day and Friday for B-day.  Be ready!


Tonight you need to finish reading Act I of The Crucible.  You'll want to go back and read all of the introductory information about Rev. Hale and his character.  Understand him well, because he will play a significant role moving forward.  Also, as you end the act, pay attention to how quickly things change and what the cause for the change is.  I look forward to our class discussion of the act tomorrow.  We will probably watch the first bit of the film as well in order to start getting a visual for everything that's going on.

Enjoy the afternoon!  Happy Monday!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Homework - English I and III


Over the weekend you should be able to finish your Poetry Projects.  Be sure that everything is ready for the collection of these projects on Thursday and Friday of next week.  On these days we will hear you all prsent these poems to us and I will collect all of your work.  Next week, on Tuesday/Wednesday we will begin our study of Romeo and Juliet which will be the last major piece we read before the end of the year.  If you have any props or costumes that you would like to bring to class, please do so on Tuesday/Wednesday.

B-day students, don't forget that you have your exam on Monday.


Over the weekend you read until the entrance of Rev. Hale in The Crucible.  Pay particular attention to the major motifs and ideas that are being developed in the opening of the play.  Also, pay attention to the conflicts that are being established.  One of the key questions htat we will need to consider is how these conflicts will be resolved throughout the course of the play.

On Monday we will spend some time (approximately half the class) in an inside/outside circle.  Be sure that you are ready to lead the conversation then. 

I will also be collecting outlines on Monday.  This is your final extension on these.  If you don't have them ready Monday, you'll get a zero.
Be sure that you go outside and play this weekend - it's really gorgeous!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Junior Homework - 3/17/2011

English III Students:

Don't forget about your outlines being due tomorrow.  With this I want to see all of your quotes, research and information organized in a way that makes sense for this assignment.  Be sure that you also submit a Works Cited page with your outline in proper MLA format.  Tomorrow I will share with you the citation for your textbook as well as the Zinn and Wheatley pieces.  You'll need to add whichever of these you used to your Works Cited page. 

Furthermore, you do have reading to complete tonight.  Please read in The Crucible until the long description of Mr. Thomas Putnam.  Once you reach this, you can stop.  We will discuss the opening of the play tomorrow and begin some of our acting.  Also, make-up vocabulary cards will be collected tomorrow.  If you need to do this - make sure that they come in to me at the beginning of class tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

English III - Homework due Friday

Don't forget Juniors that you have a formal outline due on Friday which I will grade for accuracy and content over the weekend.  Make sure that you have all of your research and quotations that you'll use in the essay in the outline.  Also, ensure that they're organized into a specific structure.  Please make sure that you're following the outline that I gave you on the assignment sheet.  Point/Counterpoint/Point.

I'll be available on Thursday at A-Lunch and after school to help you out with outlines.

Update:  I forgot to mention the works cited page.  Don't forget that with your outline.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Study Guides for English I and III - 3/14/2011

So, all of you have exams coming up soon.  Below I'm going to post some ideas and tips for you to consider as well as in order to review.  I'll also be reminding you of a few other deadlines coming up this week.

English I:

Your poetry exam is coming up on Friday/Monday.  We covered a lot of different poems in this unit, below are a few that you will be asked some specific questions about:

"in Just -" by ee cummings
"Legal Alien" by Pat Mora
"Back Again Home" by Haki Madhubuti
"Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost
"Ballad of Birmingham" by Dudley Randall
"Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" by Adrienne Rich
"Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda

Don't forget that you'll also be asked about some new poems that you haven't seen before so thinking about your TPCASTT and Color Coding Strucutres will be important to review in order to think about how to break these poems down.

There will also be a lot of literary devices that you'll see on this examination - think especially about the new ones related to poetry (alliteration, consonance, assonance, rhyme, lines, stanzas) as well as the old ones such as imagery, metaphor, simile, denotation, tone, connotation.

Remember to always think about how these authors create meaning within their poems through the use of literary devices.

English III:

You all will be having your examination on Early American Literature on Tuesday.  Here are the pieces that will be considered on that examination.

"A Narrative of the Captivity" by Mary Rowlandson
"From the Brief and Interesting Life" by Oluadah Equiano
Native American Mythology - "Coyote Finishes His Work" and "The Sky Tree"
Selected Poems by Phillis Wheatley, especially "On Being Brought from Africa to America"
"Some Verses Upon The Burning of Our House" by Anne Bradstreet
Excerpts from People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

As you work through these pieces you should focus on the main points that we have studied so far this unit especially the ideas of objectivity, subjectivity, and sensationalism.  You should also consider the ideas of logos, pathos, and ethos.  There will be a mixture of short answers and multiple choice questions.  So, you should focus on specific details from the texts as well as the bigger ideas for the short answer questions.

Now, I will be giving you the citation for the textbook tomorrow at the beginning of class - your drafts of the papers will be due on Friday!  Please don't forget to follow the formatting that I gave you on the assignment sheet.  Remember:  Thesis, Point, Counterpoint, Point, Conclusion.  Don't structure this like a regular five paragraph essay - you won't get through everything you need to and you'll waste a lot of time and energy.

This was a really long post - I'm going to go and write your exams now!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Work

I just typed this, and then it disappeared. I hate computers sometimes. I really, really do.

English I:

Priority number one for this weekend is to finish your Poetry Projects and make some serious headway here. I have extended the deadline on these projects so that you all will come to me outside of class and get my feedback on your creative and analytical writing. The projects will be collected on the 24th and 25th - we'll also have the memorized poems presented on this day. You also have your Poetry Unit Examination coming up at the end of next week. You should spend some time this weekend preparing for that exam. Look over your notes and be ready to review in class on Monday/Tuesday.

English III:

Over the weekend you should pull all of your research and evidence from your primary source together with your thesis into a coherent, well-organized outline. The goal of the outline is to show me what you're thinking and where you are with your ideas. I'll be checking these on Monday in the library. The first round of drafts will most likely be toward the end of next week with final drafts due shortly after that. You should also spend some time reviewing your notes and information about Early American Literature in preparation for your exam which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Homework - 10 March

English I:

Over the weekend, your primary goal should be to finish a large part of your poetry project.  We are moving quickly to the end of the poetry unit and it will be imperative that your projects are done well and thoroughly.  Over the weekend, try to get one of the writing pieces totally finished - either the essay or poems and then come see me next week for some feedback.

Also, you should begin preparing for your poetry examination.  You will be asked about the poems that we've studied and I will be giving you some new poems and asking you to either answer questions or write an essay on the new pieces.  Review your analysis techniques (Color Coding/TPCASTT) in order to see how to approach these areas.

English III:

Today's review of Anne Bradstreet went really well.  She is the last writer that we will be studying before moving on to The Crucible.  We will not start reading The Crucible until next week, but I would suggest that you go ahead and get your copy this weekend if you have not already done so.

For tonight you should spend time doing preliminary work on your position paper.  If you would like to do some research online tonight about your topic, please do so.  If you would like to further clarify your question, do that.  You should put in approximately one hour tonight working on this assignment.  Tomorrow we will spend half the class in the library working on research.  Also, I will talk to you all about formatting your Bibliography as well as in-text citations.

Some of you will find this link really helpful.  It provides a great way to approach the different elements of this paper as well as the structure of the essay.  I will be collecting an outline from you for this assignment next weekA good outline is key to a good paper.  Please see me if you need help here.

That's all - Happy Friday tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homework - 9 March - PLC Day

I'm really not a huge fan of PLC Days - they go too fast and require us to do too much in too little time.  I appreciate the fact that we were all able to get through a lot of information today.

English I:

Don't forget your assignment!  I will be checking your notes on your poem for the poetry project on Thursday/Friday.  This will count as a quiz grade for all of you.  You may choose to use TPCASTT to structure your notes or you may want to use the color coding method we did on the overhead with "Back Again Home."  Either way, be sure that your notes are thorough!  You should analyze all of the lines and images!

English III:

You don't have any homework tonight, but I think that it would be a good idea for you all to go back and review the poem "To Maecenas" given our discussion of Wheatley and the way that she hides her meaning in conformity.  Tomorrow I will be giving you your essay assignment for this Early American Literature unit and we will begin working on these essays tomorrow by going to the library and beginning some research.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Homework - 8 March

English I:

I hope that today's lesson in notetaking on poetry gave you some ideas for ways that you can organize and take notes in a more creative way.  Also, it think that it can be effective to color code your notes in order to quickly find information and to see how different parts of the poem interact with each other.  For tonight, I would like for you to spend approximately one hour taking notes all over your poem.  This will count as a quiz grade!  The big thing that I will be looking for is that you have thoroughly examined all parts of the poem and identified significant elements which create the meaning/message/theme of the poem.  You may want to color code or use TPCASTT in order to structure your notes.

English III:

Your tabloid covers are fantastic!  I think that they show a clear understanding of the three big concepts:  subjectivity, objectivity, and sensationalism.  For tonight, I would like for you to shift your attention to poetry.  Please read the packet that I gave you on Phillis Wheatley - especially focus on the biography and the poems "To Maecenas" and "On Being Brought from Africa to America."  Annotate these poems/biography heavily.  We will spend a lot of time tomorrow discussing Ms. Wheatley and her importance not only as a poet but as the first African American female voice in literature.

Enjoy your evenings.  See you tomorrow for the half day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Homework - 7 March

Today has flown by.  I can't believe that it's already 4th period.  Here's what you all need to accomplish for tonight.

English I:

You should all be working hard on your poetry projects.  Be sure that you've finished at least one of your elements by this week and you've begun on the second.  The due date is coming quickly - next week!  If you've got any questions or concerns, please see me this week (Thursday/Friday) for assistance.  Don't forget to read and consider the poem "Back Again Home" as well as the questions.  We'll spend time on Tuesday/Wednesday discussing this piece in some depth.

English III:

For tonight's homework, I'd like for you to complete the following activity to get us started in a thorough review of subjectivity, objectivity, and sensationalism.

First, Google information related to tabloid journalism and find an example of a tabloid publication/website. You may want to navigate to a specific tabloid that you know (National Enquirer, Hello!) or look for someone who publishes in this style (Perez Hilton.)

Second, share a link to a story, image or something else that has been produced in the style of a tabloid. Then, point out elements which are sensationalized, objective, and subjective. Select one of these three and comment further as to what you think the effect of the sensationalism, objectivity or subjectivity is.

This should be done on your own paper to be submitted tomorrow OR login to the google group and respond to the discussion board with your answers!

See you tomorrow for another quick day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Reminders for the Weekend

English I:  Over the weekend you'll need to read the poem "Back Again Home" by Haki Madhubuti and consider the attached questions.  I will not be collecting these questions - but you will need tou consider them and jot down some notes to form your responses.  We will discuss this poem on Tuesday/Wednesday after we finish our poetry tournament.  Don't forget as well that you should complete some part of your poetry project every week.  By the end of this week you should have your memorization done, your essay started, or your poems completed.  Please see me next week for additional assistance.

English III:  Over the weekend you need to read the piece by Oluadah Equiano.  Complete the whole piece and take good notes for a discussiona nd activity on Monday.  I'll have your tests and some other assignments ready to hand back to you on Monday, as well.

Have a beautiful weekend. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homework - 3 March


Today's class went well, I hope that the review of the Mary Rowlandson piece helped your understanding of some of the pivotal moments within that text.  To prepare for Monday's class I would like for you to complete the reading of the excerpted narrative of Oluadah Equiano in the textbook.  Please read the whole thing.  It's broken into two pieces - and it may be helpful for you to break the reading up into these two pieces.

As you read, take note of interesting passages and ideas - always annotate!  Also, pay attention to the similarities and differences between Equiano and Rowlandson - their tone, point of view, narrative structure, life experiences, and so on.  We will spend Monday going through this story as well as looking at some commonalities between Rowlandson and Equiano.

Don't forget that you have vocabulary cards and bookmarks due tomorrow!


No homework tonight is required of you - but you should be working on your poetry projects.  I'll probably be checking in with you in the next few days to see what you have accomplished.  If you have any questions about this project or want help, please come and see me at Monday's study hall.

Have a beautiful afternoon!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Homework - 2 March

English I:  You all had your Benchmark Exam today, thus you have no required homework for tonight.  However, if I were you I would take this night to work on your poetry projects.  Get one of the poems written or work on the memorization aspect of your poem.  On Friday we will move on to looking at a few new kinds of poetry as we move forward through our study of poetry.

English III:  For tonight I would like for you to read Mary Rowlandson's "A Narrative of the Captivity" in the textbook.  Use the access information that I gave you today to get to the online book or use a book which you brought from class.  Complete the worksheet that goes along with the story.  As you read the story, it will be important that you all read all of the attached information including Rowlandson's biography as well as the information about Captivity Narratives.

Let me know if you've got questions!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Homework - 1 March

Happy March!  Only four weeks to go until the end of the grading period!  Lots of things to do this month - keep up with all of your due dates and requirements.

Freshmen:  Over the next two days you will have your Second Benchmark Exam.  It's important that you prepare yourself in any way necessary for this exam as I will be using this exam to individualize instruction for you moving to the EOC.  There are two key sections to the exam:  grammar and literature.  For the grammar section, look over your warm-ups.  Try to recognize what looks right and what doesn't.  It's not a good use of your time to memorize grammar rules - focus on the patterns that we've been observing all year.  For the literature section you should focus on literary terms - there is a resource in your textbook which you can use for this on page 1019 and you can look over all of your notes that you've taken all year.  Come to class ready with a pencil on Wednesday/Thursday.

Juniors:  Time to start a new unit today - Early American Literature.  Today we began with a piece of history so that you all can understand a bit more the context for the writings we'll be reading in the next few weeks.  For tonight, finish reading the piece by Zinn; remember to annotate heavily.  Tomorrow we will review this piece and move on to some Native American literature before studying our first Puritan piece.  Also, don't forget to get yourself some post-its that you will use to annotate in your textbook in class.